Challenge time! The tribes arrive and are greeted by Probst, who gets right down to the rules. Six members of each tribe must race across the beach and over sand hills into the water, where they'll retrieve a raft of "puzzle planks." They must get the raft to shore, untie the planks, and run them back to the starting point, where the two non-racing members of the tribe will assemble a staircase with the planks. Each plank has a different set of holes, so only one fits each step. Once they've built their staircase, the entire tribe runs up and two members must navigate a peg through a maze. The first tribe to complete the maze wins. The Jalapeño flag is raised in the example footage, which means they lose. The winning tribe gets fire and the immunity idol, which has a cool pre-Columbian Indian art design to it. Unfortunately, it then becomes the victim of a cheesy idol-wipe.
Taj and Sandy are building the stairs for Jalapeño, while Sierra and Erinn are doing it for Tempura. Probst says go, and the tribes get to running. Probst stupidly says contestants are allowed to "run, jump, fly" over the sand hills. I'm pretty sure the laws of physics and human anatomy prevent them from that last suggestion, Probst. JT reaches the raft first, but it doesn't mean a thing since the entire tribe has to touch it before they're allowed to bring it back to shore. Both teams start back at about the same time, with Carolina having trouble moving through the water. If only Jalapeño had some chairs back at camp, she could have been properly rested for such strenuous activity. Watching her struggle to walk makes me really miss Crystal from last season.
The teams make it back to shore, untie their planks, and start carrying them back. While Tyson carries three all by himself, I see that Douche needs help from Jerry to carry his planks back. How strong of him. Carolina and blonde Cindy struggle with their planks and need help from the menfolk. Tempura gets their planks back first, and Sierra celebrates by bending over and exposing herself to the camera crew. Looks like we're going to get a lot of blur action from her until (if) she gets voted out. Jalapeño soon starts their staircase, and now it's Sandy's time to shine. Somehow, she can't figure out how to find an idol or a lone palm tree, but she is awesome at puzzle stairs. She and Taj organize the team, calling out for the exact planks they need, while Erinn and Sierra take things slow and not-so-steady. Jalapeño is well ahead by the time their stairs are done.